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Back in October 2015, American Express Membership Rewards devalued the transfer ratio to British Airways Avios. Instead of being able to transfer points 1:1, the transfer rate was dropped to 250 Membership Rewards = 200 Avios. The transfer rate has stayed at this point ever since, with only the rare bonus making it a better deal.

Well, without fanfare, it looks like the old 1:1 ratio is back! Spencer Howard first pointed out the situation this afternoon on Twitter:

We checked out our Membership Rewards accounts to see if Spencer was just a lucky member. But, our accounts also show the new 250:250 transfer ratio:

Amex MR to Avios 1 to 1

To confirm that a transfer wouldn’t error out, I transferred the minimum number of 250 Membership Rewards to Avios:

MR Avios transfer confirmation

The transfer was successful, and the points immediately posted to my Avios account — as expected:

BA points transfer confirmation

TPG reached out to American Express to inquire if this is a limited time offer or the new normal. Just before publication, we heard the good news: The change is permanent!

American Express now leads the industry in reward program partners

Today, two of Amex’s Membership Rewards airline transfer partners, British Airways and Iberia, are increasing the transfer ratio for their rewards program, Avios. The transfer is increasing from a 5:4 to a 1:1 transfer ratio.

With this update, Amex’s Membership Rewards program now offers the most 1:1 airline transfer partners – 11 in total.

Membership Rewards now also offers Card Members the opportunity to transfer points to 21 reward program partners, which is more than any other U.S. credit card rewards program.

Best Uses of Avios

What might you want to do with those Avios? Due to high fuel surcharges on British Airways’ own flights, you’ll be best off redeeming for travel on BA’s partners — you’ll get the best deal on short-haul flights. I’ve personally scored a one-way from Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE) for just 4,500 Avios — a flight that often runs ~$500 one-way. Back in the States, you can use Avios to book American Airlines flights under 1,151 miles in length for just 7,500 Avios in economy or just 15,000 Avios in domestic first class.

West Coast flyers can use Avios to book flights to Hawaii via Alaska Airlines or American Airlines for just 12,500 Avios each way. Don’t feel left out East Coast flyers; you can fly from seven different cities to Dublin (DUB) for just 13,000 Avios one-way during off-peak periods.

Iberia A340-600 Premium Economy window seat pairs

Or, you can transfer Membership Rewards to Iberia Avios for steals like 25,500 Avios one-way in premium economy between New York’s JFK and Madrid (MAD).

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.